The Psycho-Oncology Wellbeing Research (POWER) Lab is a currently active research lab within the Health, Well-being and Cognition research stream at NCI.

ProBrain (Promoting Brain Health in Ageing) Lab at NCI The Psycho-Oncology Wellbeing Research (POWER) lab is led by Dr Amanda Kracen.


What is Psycho-Oncology?

Psycho-oncology is the field of study and practice dedicated to the psychological, emotional, behavioural, social, and ethical issues that affect people coping with cancer, their caregivers, and associated healthcare professionals.

What are we interested in?

We work to understand how cancer survivors (people who live with and beyond a cancer diagnosis) and their loved ones cope and maintain resilience while managing a serious illness.

We are also interested in the well-being of healthcare professionals and how they navigate the challenges of training and working in oncology.

What are the values of the lab?

We are committed to research, practice, and advocacy that:

  • Leads to social change and leaves our world a better place;
  • Is centred in intersectional, feminist, anti-racist approaches;
  • Is done with collaboration, curiosity, and joy.

Who do we collaborate with?

Our lab collaborates with researchers and clinicians from Brown University, Cork University Hospital, St. James Hospital, University of Denver, University of Iowa, University of Kansas, and Washington University.

Our lab welcomes research collaborations and enquiries. We also welcome interested students.

About Dr Amanda Kracen (she/her)

Dr Amanda Kracen is a Counselling Psychologist who has worked in psycho-oncology since 2003. She is currently the Coordinator of the Irish Psycho-Social Oncology Network (IPSON) and serves on the HSE’s National Psycho-Oncology Advisory Group.

Additional research interests related to POWER

Our lab has secondary lines of research that are concerned with issues of power, specifically enhancing and elevating the well-being of diverse, historically marginalised groups. For instance, for the last several years we have been collaborating on research and advocacy about transgender students’ experiences of studying internationally. We are currently working to disseminate findings from an ongoing project, led by Taylor Michl.

This project, along with some of our other recent work, are highlighted below.

* Denotes a student co-author

Michl, T.*, Pegg, K.*, & Kracen, A. (2019).

Gender x culture: The study abroad experiences of transgender and gender expansive students. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, Vol. XXXI (2), 32-50.

Kracen, A., Nelson, A.*, Michl, T.*, Rowold, H.*, Taylor, N., Raque, T. (in press).

Perspectives of postdoctoral fellows: A qualitative study of clinical supervision in psycho-oncology. Psychological Services.

Raque, T. L., Kracen, A., Owen, J., Scout, NFN, Muenks, E. M., & Andrews, C. (2022).

Taylor, N., & Kracen, A. (2021)

Current practices in clinical supervision in psycho-oncology. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice. 3:1(e044).

Kracen, A., Taylor, N., Raque-Bogdan, T., Rowold, H.*, Nelson, A.*, Michl, T.*, Ross, K.*, Engblom, H.*, Joseph, E.* (2020).

Raque-Bogdan, T., Kracen, A., Taylor, N., Engblom, H. *, Joseph, E. *, Ross, K. *, Michl, T.*, Nelson, A.*, & Rowold, H.* (2019).

Dua, P., Heiland, M., Kracen, A., & Deshields, T. (2015).

Cancer-related hair loss: A selective review of the alopecia research literature. Psycho-Oncology. doi:10.1002/pon.4039

Deshields, T., Heiland, M., Kracen, A., & Dua, P. (2015).

Resilience in adults with cancer: Development of a conceptual model. Psycho-Oncology. doi:10.1002/pon.3800

More Information

If you are interested in learning more about psycho-oncology, then check out the following resources: